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Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Rob Madell Swimming To Kingdom Come
"Even a year later running made me dizzy so I returned to swimming. My first open water swims were in the Hudson - varying from as little as one-half mile to as much as 6 miles."
Later in 2010, Madell made a decision to begin marathon swimming at age 67. He qualified for his 10-mile swim with a 6-mile swim off the Jersey Shore and have been successfully completing the 10-mile Kingdom Swim every year since.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you feel before the 10-mile Kingdom Swim?
Rob Madell: Since this was my fourth time, I was very relaxed - maybe too relaxed. Unlike the first time, I was sure that I could do it.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you feel in the first half of the race?
Rob Madell: The water was very flat. I felt strong. Nothing hurt. I was worried that I was swimming too fast - but I couldn't make myself slow down.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you feel in the second half of the race?
Rob Madell: I was not happy with the rough water up near the islands. Particularly in the last 3 miles. I just put my head down and swam. I kept telling myself that it didn't matter if I hurt, just keep going. With maybe 50 yards left to the beach I got a terrible cramp in my left calf. Two days later it still hurts. I thought about how awful it would be if I had to be pulled out 50 yards from the finish.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Rob Madell: How did you get over the fatigue during the race?
Rob Madell: Fatigue doesn't matter. I did the best I could to ignore it. I couldn't ignore the pain in my calf. I had to try to stretch it out - and somehow I did.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What did you eat or drink? How often?
Rob Madell: Every 33 minutes I stopped for a packet of GU and a mixture of orange juice and water. After about 4 and one-half hours I took 2 Advil.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming:6. Did you and your kayaker talk during the race?
Rob Madell: Only every 33 minutes. My kayaker and son-in-law James Davis was great. Not only did he keep me on the course, but he kept telling me that I was looking great. Even while I was swimming he seemed to be smiling and nodding his approval.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What was your strategy versus your competition?
Rob Madell: My only strategy is to start slow. And I have no competition for being the oldest - all I have to do for that prize is to finish.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you feel after the race?
Rob Madell: For the rest of the day I felt perfectly fine. Two days later, my calf hurts, my nose is running, and I am dehydrated.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What are your next open water swimming goals?
Rob Madell: I am not thinking about that yet. I train very hard for the Kingdom Swim and now I am taking some time off. The Kingdom Swim is a unique event. The parade, the costumes, the dinner, even the beef jerky. I have swum in a lot of races, but this one is far and away my favorite. Thank you Phil.
Photo by Roberta Moudry.
Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming
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